Madison WI Real Estate Blog

Monona Terrace Fun Summer Events

Monona Terrace is one of the hottest places for events in the summer. With concerts, dance events and so much more, this section of Madison provides plenty to enjoy. In addition, it's one of the best places for great views of Lake Monona.

As Madison's premier convention center, Monona Terrace often holds conferences and meetings. However, there are many special events held here throughout the year. The facility was also designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and offers guided tours and a rooftop terrace for dining and drinking throughout the summer.

Upcoming Events at Monona Terrace

From Yoga to design events, there's always something going on at Monona Terrace. Below is a quick look at some of the best events coming this summer.

Go Red for Women Luncheon - May 5th from 10:30am to 1:30pm  

A noble event helping to support living a healthier lifestyle, the Go Red for Women luncheon will help unite the community. It's just one of the Many Go Red for Women events held throughout Madison, Wisconsin each year.

Pokémon Regional Competition & Ohana-Con - June 2nd to 4th from 3pm to 9pm

If you love Pokémon, this family-friendly cosplay event is perfect for you. It's one of the largest annual Pokémon Regional Championships in the country with all types of gaming enthusiasts on hand.

Shake The Lake Rooftop Party...

Serious Buyers Don't Wait for Open Houses

The market is heating up and you cannot wait any longer. Competition in Madison has become heavy and if you wait for an open house, you might have to go back to the drawing board.

New listings are hitting the market and drawing a large amount of interest very fast. If you or your buyer's agent discover a new listing you like, don't wait for an open house to view it. Instead, schedule your showing as soon as possible.

First in Line isn't Enough

Being the first one to view the home may help, but it's not enough. You have to be ready to buy. Before you start your home search, make sure:

  • You have a pre-approval letter
  • Your down payment is ready
  • You know your budget
  • You have a list of needs and wants for your next home
  • You have a skilled agent to provide advice

Going into a home showing ready to buy is the only way to gain an edge when the market is so hot. Right now, you're likely to face stiff competition in Madison, Wisconsin. Preparation will make your position at the front of the line even stronger.

Open House Canceled!

Have you seen this headline lately? Many buyers have been burned by showing up to a canceled open house or counting on it without realizing the property has already gone into "pending" status.

If you delay on a home you're interested in, you may receive a notification of a cancelled open house. Homes are selling fast in Madison and you just cannot afford to delay.

Working with a Top Real Estate Team

One of the best ways to ensure you get...

Summer Concert Series: Concerts on the Square

The Concerts on the Square series provides a popular choice with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. It's one of the largest outdoor concerts held in Madison. More than 120,000 people attend this series every summer and enjoy plenty of great music.

The concert series will be held on the Capitol Lawn again this summer with six different dates. All concerts within the Concerts on the Square series will be held on Wednesdays at 7pm. Here's what you can expect this year.

Performance Dates and Information

Six Wednesdays in a row will provide performances on the Capitol Lawn. Dates for the Concert on the Square events include:

  • June 28th, 2017
  • July 5th, 2017
  • July 12th, 2017
  • July 19th, 2017
  • July 26th, 2017
  • August 2nd, 2017

Each show will begin at 7pm. You can start placing blanked to save your spot at 3pm. Any blankets placed before 3pm will be removed. At 5pm before the show, the food and beverage booths will open, along with the kids' area.


A number of vendors will be available providing food and beverage options. Vendors for this year's concert series include:

  • Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra - Providing Beer, Wine, Soda and other beverages
  • Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream - Providing ice cream, cheesecake, pie, cookies and cupcakes.
  • Curt's Popcorn - Providing gourmet popcorn in a variety of flavors.

Along with these three vendors, there will be several Box Supper Vendors. You can reserve your meal in advance of the show. Box Supper Vendors include:

  • Bandung
  • Cranberry Creek Cafe & Grill
  • Eldorado Grill
  • Five Star BBQ
  • Fromangination
  • Greek Street
  • Gristle
  • Jamerica
  • O.S.S.
  • Papa John's
  • The...

How to Stage and Show Your Home With Kids

We love our kids, but they can make it a bit harder to stage and show a home for sale. Preparing your home to be sold is stressful enough without having to clean up after the kids. However, there are some easy ways to get your home ready and keep it "show ready" even with children in the house. Here are a few easy to follow tips.

Choose a Real Estate Professional that Fits

The first step in the home selling process is hiring the right real estate agent. Make sure you choose an agent fitting well with you, your home and your family. The decision shouldn't be based on the agent providing the highest listing price. Instead, make sure they understand how to work with you and your family.

Get your Kids Ready to Sell

One of the most important steps when it comes to staging and showing a home with kids is preparing the little ones. They need to understand what it means to sell the home and you shouldn't wait until the "for sale" sign goes up.

Make the idea of selling your home an adventure as they pack some of their toys away. It's also a good idea to give your children a job and let them feel useful as they help get the house ready.

Clean and Declutter

Before you start the cleaning and decluttering process, you may need to rent a small storage unit. Children tend to have a large amount of stuff and you will probably need to remove most of it from the home. If you want to get top dollar, you should only leave the necessary. Eliminate as many knick-knacks, toys and photos as possible and clean up anything else considered personal. Keep just a few of the favorite toys for your children.


Top 3 Farmers' Markets Found Near Madison, WI

Heading to a farmers' market provides plenty of fun, great food and a sign that spring is really here. In Madison, Wisconsin, the farmers’ markets become very busy as the weather warms up and the snow melts. Here's a quick look at three of the top farmers' markets you'll find near Madison.

Dane County Farmers' Market

As the original farmers' market in Madison, the Dane County Farmers' Market is one of the most popular. A number of vendors participate in the market providing quite the variety of goods. Plenty of baked goods, cheese, meat, dairy products, vegetables and specialty items are found throughout the market. Find a complete list of what's available by the season on their website here.

The Saturday Market is held on Capitol Square from 6:15am to 1:45am, starting April 15th and running through November 11th.

The Wednesday Market is held at the 200 Block of MLK, Jr. Boulevard from 8:30am to 1:45pm, starting on April 19th and running through November 8th.

Capitol View Farmers' Market

Held every Wednesday from 3pm to 7pm from May 31st to October 11th, the Capitol View Farmers' Market provides a great choice for those not willing to wake up early. It's an afternoon market in the Madison Far East neighborhood held at 5901 Sharpsburg Drive.

The market provides plenty of high quality and fresh food items including meat, dairy products, baked goods, local produce and more. Along with shopping, you can enjoy live music from 4pm to 6pm at this farmers' market.


February 2017 Market Recap

February proved to be a strong month for residential home and condo sales in Dane County. In fact, February 2017 was the highest month for home sales in Dane County since 2007 and 4.4% higher than the same month last year.

The month's median sales price also increased year-over-year, which has happened 18 times in the past 19 months.

The active inventory remains as the story for the market because of a significant lack of inventory. Only 688 new listings were reported in Dane County, which is the lowest number since 2002. Total active listings came in at just 989 and it hasn't been that low since 1997.

Only 1.47 months of active inventory are available to buyers. Usually, a balanced market will show about six months of inventory.

Overall, compared to the start of 2016, the real estate market in Dane County is off to a positive start in 2017.


5 Top Tips For First-Time Home Buyers in Madison

One of the largest and most exciting purchases you will ever make is a home. The first time you go through this process, it can be rather stressful. However, with the right Realtor and a few tips, you can take the stress out of the process and enjoy the excitement.

Here are 5 tips all first-time home buyers should consider.

Consider All The Expenses

Often, first-time home buyers look at how the mortgage payment will compare to their current rental payment. However, owning a home requires maintenance, homeowner's insurance, mortgage insurance and other expenses. The utilities may be different, as well. Take the time to consider how these expenses will change your monthly budget before you start home shopping.

Think About More Than Just Today

Do you plan to grow your family? Is it possible you will have to care for an elderly parent? Could your job have you relocating soon?

There are many things to consider before you purchase a home in Madison, Wisconsin for the first time. If you plan to grow your family, you may want a larger home now, even though you won't need all the bedrooms for a few years.

It's also important to consider the school district, the traffic and the other factors around the home before you start shopping. All of these factors come into play if you end up needing to sell your home, as well.

Get Pre-Approved

It's much easier to submit a winning offer when you've been pre-approved by a lender. You may need to compete with other buyers as the real estate market in Madison starts to heat up and a pre-approval letter will help. In addition, you'll understand what you can actually afford by getting pre-approved.

Save As Much As Possible For A Down Payment

Putting 20% down is ideal,... Names Madison to 'Super Cool' List

Recently, releases a list of 21 cities they consider to be "Super Cool." This list featured two cities tied at #1 and one of those cities was Madison, Wisconsin!

How This List Was Compiled

The list created by Expedia used a point system with the maximum number of points possible 28. The points were based on the following factors:

  • Lyft available
  • Farmers markets
  • All-service restaurants
  • Zagat’s Best Food Cities List from 2016
  • Arts districts or bar/restaurant districts
  • Large amount of population between ages 20-34
  • Less than 2 hours from a big city
  • Score on Sperling's Best Places
  • More than 5 museums/major art galleries
  • Annual festivals
  • AreaVibes livability score

Overall, Madison, WI scored 26 out of 28 points. The city made the second spot, but the score was the same as Austin, TX, which was in the first spot.

What Expedia Had To Say About Madison

Some of the reasons Madison scored so well and was named to the top of the list included the incredible festival season and large number of restaurants. The city has more than eight restaurants per 10,000 capita and offers many fine dining options. With a number of great festivals, such as the Revelry Music and Arts Festival, Madison scored very high in this category, as well.

Expedia also ranked Madison high due to other attractions, such as:

WI57 | The Real Estate News | Josh Lavik | Keller Williams | 03/22/17

In the latest episode of the The Real Estate News, Josh Lavik covers what to expect with the Madison real estate market as it starts to heat up for the spring.

Josh discusses how the marketing efforts for a condo open house created a large amount of foot traffic due to the spring market arriving. He talks about the current seller's market with the low inventory and how this is the time of year many new real estate agents become licensed.

During this episode of The Real Estate News, Josh also goes through some of his current listing and newly listed properties. 

Want to learn more about the local real estate market in Madison and surrounding communities.  Contact our team today.


2016 Market Recap - Record year!!!

While winter is in full effect, often this is a time to reflect on the past year in the real estate market.  Here’s what we learned.  2016 WAS A RECORD YEAR!!! 

review of 2016 real estate market image

Dane county sales for 2016 (single family and condos) were at an ALL TIME HIGH with 8073 sales and median sale price was also at an ALL TIME HIGH OF $245,000.  For comparison, 2005 was the last peak at 7,981 sales for the year, and 2015 was 7,957 sales. 

2016 sales compared to 2015 and 2005 for Dane County

Median sale price has been on the rise, up 5.6% from 2015 ($232,000), and up 16.6% from 2005 ($210,000); all good things for current home owners.

median home values for Dane county

Another noteworthy thing is the continued decline in available inventory for homes.  As you can see we are now under 2 months of inventory for both single family and condominiums.

inventory for available homes in Dane county

Want to talk more about the specific market around your home?  Give us a call or send us a message.  We’d be happy to share our thoughts about the why behind it and predictions...

WI57 | The Real Estate News | Josh Lavik | Keller Williams | 01/18/17

In the latest episode of The Real Estate News, Josh Lavik discusses the current status of the Madison area real estate market.

Happy New Year from all of us at Josh Lavik & Associates.  We remain in a strong seller's market with not enough homes for buyer's looking to purchase.  While home prices continue to rise, interest rates are also up slightly.  Weather you are thinking of downsizing or moving up to your dream home, now could be the year.  Common signs it might be time to downsize, perhaps the kids are off in college or you are just tired of the maintenance.  On the flip side, a good reason to consider upgrading is that while inventory remains tight in the lower price ranges, that is not the case in the higher price points.  Overwhelmed with where to start?  Perhaps a visit to the Dream Home Showcase the weekend of January 27th - 29th would make sense.  Stop by and visit our booth and check out our seminar titled "Do I need to remodel in order to sell my home?"  If you can't make the show than give our team a call at 608-620-4234 to find out how you can have a better real estate experience.


New Listing - Sun Prairie - 381 Marshview Dr


381 Marshview Dr

OPPORTUNITIES ARE ENDLESS!! Let your mind dream while sitting on the deck listening to the creek as it travels through your backyard. This slice of country living is nestled next door to Sun Prairie High School and is convenient to shopping, restaurants and recreation. This nice ranch home has a NEW roof and has a finished basement with NEW carpeting. Open kitchen, spacious living room and master bedroom make up the first floor. Enjoy wood floors, a big deck and huge wooded lot.  The garage is a mechanics playground as it is currently a fully operational car repair shop. The property also has a heated shed for additional storage or a man cave.

Koshkonong Creek


Dream Home Show 2017

Thinking of building or remodeling?  Then come check out this year's Dream Home Show at the Alliant Energy Center, January 27-29, 2017.

MABA dream home showcase

Come see the latest trends from builders, contractors, and the latest trends in new home construction.  We will be hosting a booth as well and hosting a seminar titled, "Do I need to remodel to sell my home?"  Come learn how to maximize your equity.

Looking for a deal?  Check out our coupon to buy one ticket and get one FREE! Click Here.

Dream Home Show Hours are:
Friday: 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
Sunday: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Can't make it to the show?  Check out our page about "Trading up" your home.


WI57 Real Estate News | Josh Lavik Keller Williams | 12142016

In the latest episode of The Real Estate News, Josh Lavik discusses selling your home in the winter and waterfront properties in the Madison area.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Josh Lavik & associates.  Selling your home in the winter can be an advantage with less competition from other homes for sale. Considering waterfront properties, then check out 2947 camp leonard rd on lake Waubesa. Includes 2 homes on the parcel with 350 feet of lake frontage.  Near babcock park in McFarland, excellent schools, east end of the lake for amazing west facing sunsets.  Looking to be on lake Mendota, then check out 405 Woodward dr in Madison. 75 feet of lake frontage on north side of lake mendota. Modern updates with some old cabin style. Price recently slashed by $50,000!!!  Other considerations for lakefront property include: shoreland zoning requirements for rebuilding and an increase in property taxes.  Want to buy or sell waterfront property?  Give our team a call at 608-620-4234 to find out how you can have a better real estate experience.


Madison’s North Side

Madison’s North Side

Josh Lavik & Associates is your local real estate connection at Keller Williams Realty in Madison, Wisconsin.


The southern border is the Yahara River at Tenney Park.  The north boundary is the Cherokee Marsh.  To the east is Packers Ave and the West border is along Lake Mendota and the Village of Maple Bluff.

North Side Neighborhoods


When many of the homes were built during the late 1940's into the 1960's folks were looking to realize the American Dream of homeownership. The north side of Madison became an appealing place for families looking for a great area to raise their children and also due to close proximity to some of the largest employers in the area. Of course, another reason that people live in this area is that they love being on or near the lakes of Madison.

North Lake Mendota


Many of the single family homes are more modest sized ranch, transitional, or bi-level style homes in addition to a few condominium associations.  While other areas along Woodward Drive include much larger and more expensive waterfront homes.  The median list price...

Best Holiday Lights in Madison

One of the best places to go view Holiday Lights in the Madison area is the Fantasy in Lights at Olin Park, just off John Nolan Drive.

madison holiday lights 1

madison holiday lights 2

holiday lights 3

holiday lights 4

November 19th, 2016 to January 2, 2017 from Dusk till Dawn at Olin Park.  Admission is FREE!!!  This awesome display is sponsored by The Electric Group and numerous other sponsors.  Check it out!


lead based paint in real estate

Anyone looking to buy or sell a home in Wisconsin will need to consider that a property may have a variety of environmental and health concerns.  Including things such as radon, contaminants in the water, mold, and lead-based paint.

Properties that were built prior to 1978 and may pose a greater risk of lead-based paint.  As stated in the Wisconsin Lead Based Paint Disclosure Addendum S, "Lead poisoning in young children may produce permanent neurological damage, including learning disabilities, reduced intelligence quotient, behavioral problems, and impaired memory."  Certainly lead-based paint is no joking matter and hence the reason it's no longer used in household paints.

A home seller is required to disclose to potential buyers the existence of any known lead-based paint on the property.  And similarly, a home buyer has an option to test for the existence of lead-based paint, if desired.

Contractors looking to do work on a home built prior to 1978 must follow specific guidelines for remediation and be lead paint certified.  The EPA (environmental protection agency) website has more detailed information about lead paint.

As a real estate agent in Madison Wisconsin, I also have a duty to provide a lead-based paint pamphlet to home buyers that shows how to "Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home".

Many older properties have their own charm and character that is often very different from a new home.  Thus, I wouldn't suggest to a home buyer to pass...

Giving Back is Never Out of Season

When you choose Josh Lavik & Associates to help you buy, sell, or invest in real estate they will give a portion of their profits back to a charity of your choice.

Get A Better Real Estate Experience and help our community at the same time.  Contact us today at 608-620-4234 or visit